Phoenix mayor asks Trump to delay next week's rally

The next flashpoint between the racists and Antifa could come in Phoenix, Arizona next week, where President Trump is planning on attending a rally.

A Democratic congressman has already announced plans to protest Trump's visit, calling the president a supporter of racists.

Phoenix mayor Democrat Greg Stanton asked President Trump in a statement to delay the rally "while our nation is still healing" from the violence in Charlottesville.

My statement on Trump's August 22 event at the @PhoenixConvCtrpic.twitter.com/nPYIHX5eVg

— Greg Stanton (@MayorStanton) August 16, 2017

Politico:

Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat who has been in office since 2012, said he hopes that "sound judgment prevails" and that the president abandons plans for an event next Tuesday at the Phoenix Convention Center. Earlier Wednesday, Trump's reelection campaign announced that the president would hold the event to rally supporters.

Stanton noted that the site of the rally was "a public facility and open for anyone to rent—and that includes the Trump campaign." He said he would be focused on making sure the event was safe for everyone if it went forward.

The Trump campaign's announcement came a day after Trump drew near universal outcry after saying "both sides" were to blame for a deadly weekend of protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups clashed with counterprotesters.

Why Phoenix?  There is speculation that the president will announce that he is pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his recent contempt of court conviction.  Arpaio refused to obey a court order to stop detaining illegal aliens and faces six months in jail.

The Hill:

Stanton also warned Trump against any plans to pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt last month for disobeying a judge's order to stop detaining people over suspicion of being undocumented. Arpaio was a controversial sheriff because of his hardline immigration stances.

"If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame tensions and further divide our nation," Stanton said in the statement.

Trump told Fox News earlier this week that he was seriously considering pardoning Arpaio, who he called a "patriot."

"Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?" Trump told Fox News. "He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn't deserve to be treated this way."

But, as we saw in Charlottesville, neither side really needs an excuse for violence.  No doubt, the Secret Service can make the convention center where the rally will be held secure enough for Trump to speak.

But what about outside the center, where protesters and counter-protesters will once again confront each other?  Let's hope the police handle the situation more intelligently than the Charlottesville authorities, whose inexperience and incompetence – along with the fear of being seen as cracking down on either side – directly led to the mêlée in the square.  Phoenix police have patrolled dozens of protests over the years and should do a much better job of keeping the two sides apart.

But the police presence, massive as it will be, won't deter the hardcore left and right from seeking to engage in battle.  The press has spent the last few days ginning up outrage about Trump to the point that the unbalanced minds of Antifa could easily get the impression that it's OK to bash the heads of "fascist" Trump supporters.

Trump's first instinct will be to defy those who think he should delay or cancel his Phoenix rally.  But perhaps he should listen to Mayor Stanton.  The controversy over his remarks is not dying down.  It is building day by day as members of his own party run away from him at full speed, and the reaction to his words has generated a huge backlash that has reached into the White House.

A delay until the memory of Charlottesville fades won't guarantee a peaceful night in Phoenix.  But it will lower the temperature enough that his message will matter, rather than what he says or fails to say about race.

The next flashpoint between the racists and Antifa could come in Phoenix, Arizona next week, where President Trump is planning on attending a rally.

A Democratic congressman has already announced plans to protest Trump's visit, calling the president a supporter of racists.

Phoenix mayor Democrat Greg Stanton asked President Trump in a statement to delay the rally "while our nation is still healing" from the violence in Charlottesville.

My statement on Trump's August 22 event at the @PhoenixConvCtrpic.twitter.com/nPYIHX5eVg

— Greg Stanton (@MayorStanton) August 16, 2017

Politico:

Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat who has been in office since 2012, said he hopes that "sound judgment prevails" and that the president abandons plans for an event next Tuesday at the Phoenix Convention Center. Earlier Wednesday, Trump's reelection campaign announced that the president would hold the event to rally supporters.

Stanton noted that the site of the rally was "a public facility and open for anyone to rent—and that includes the Trump campaign." He said he would be focused on making sure the event was safe for everyone if it went forward.

The Trump campaign's announcement came a day after Trump drew near universal outcry after saying "both sides" were to blame for a deadly weekend of protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups clashed with counterprotesters.

Why Phoenix?  There is speculation that the president will announce that he is pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his recent contempt of court conviction.  Arpaio refused to obey a court order to stop detaining illegal aliens and faces six months in jail.

The Hill:

Stanton also warned Trump against any plans to pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt last month for disobeying a judge's order to stop detaining people over suspicion of being undocumented. Arpaio was a controversial sheriff because of his hardline immigration stances.

"If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame tensions and further divide our nation," Stanton said in the statement.

Trump told Fox News earlier this week that he was seriously considering pardoning Arpaio, who he called a "patriot."

"Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?" Trump told Fox News. "He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn't deserve to be treated this way."

But, as we saw in Charlottesville, neither side really needs an excuse for violence.  No doubt, the Secret Service can make the convention center where the rally will be held secure enough for Trump to speak.

But what about outside the center, where protesters and counter-protesters will once again confront each other?  Let's hope the police handle the situation more intelligently than the Charlottesville authorities, whose inexperience and incompetence – along with the fear of being seen as cracking down on either side – directly led to the mêlée in the square.  Phoenix police have patrolled dozens of protests over the years and should do a much better job of keeping the two sides apart.

But the police presence, massive as it will be, won't deter the hardcore left and right from seeking to engage in battle.  The press has spent the last few days ginning up outrage about Trump to the point that the unbalanced minds of Antifa could easily get the impression that it's OK to bash the heads of "fascist" Trump supporters.

Trump's first instinct will be to defy those who think he should delay or cancel his Phoenix rally.  But perhaps he should listen to Mayor Stanton.  The controversy over his remarks is not dying down.  It is building day by day as members of his own party run away from him at full speed, and the reaction to his words has generated a huge backlash that has reached into the White House.

A delay until the memory of Charlottesville fades won't guarantee a peaceful night in Phoenix.  But it will lower the temperature enough that his message will matter, rather than what he says or fails to say about race.

RECENT VIDEOS